The day after Dark Friday and my like-minded friends and I loaded up and headed to Atlanta for the protest for social justice. The highest office in the land is now occupied by the noxious donald j trump; A man who ran a campaign of hate, misogyny, racism, xenophobia and lies. As we traveled through torrential rain toward the College Park Marta station, we got better acquainted and discussed our compatible political views as well as the events taking place at the dawn of this nauseating change in direction of our beloved country. One thought is prominent over all others in my mind. The fact that our conservative peers think we are just sad and defeated that our candidate lost. They couldn’t be more wrong about what motivates the majority of the protestors participating in the events of the day. While yes, we are sad and feel defeated, these emotions are not nearly as petty as that, they go much deeper.
In all of my discussions with people during the election campaign process through completion, I find that there is one thing that they fail to understand about us (Us being all of us). It’s that we do not think the same way. We are ‘wired’ completely differently. This is not just our team lost and the other team won for us. We feel this dangerous to our country. They don’t seem to grasp why we feel that way. That’s not to say they are all incapable of understanding, I think some are if they’re willing to listen. Whether they are willing to accept the information that might make them see things differently is another story. Some will stubbornly hold on to their beliefs and refuse to hear any new information. I have to hold on to the belief that there are conservatives out there open to new information. I hope that human nature is still similar enough on both sides that some are open minded and accepting of new information. We can’t change the core of who someone is. That would be a waste of time. However, we can educate each other and I believe there is something to learn from each and every person one encounters. It’s just a matter of whether or not you’re open to learning it. These are the people I write to.
So what I propose to do here is to present a bit of who I am and why I see things the way I do. Perhaps this will give someone a better understanding of where these protests are coming from. There are so many issues that brought protesters to these events. Yes, some were Hillary Clinton supporters who felt that she was cheated, but we cannot change the views of those who hate her whether their reasoning is legitimate or not, will not be changed by that demographic. Consequently, I will not even address that. It would be a waste time. So I’m going to address my views that many people like me share whether they supported Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders or any other candidate on the ballots of the 2016 election.
While I am an amateur journalist who blogs without pay currently, I am still a journalist. My first amendment rights are deeply important to me for this reason. The Founding Fathers said of the Bill of Rights in its preamble, “The Conventions of a number of the States having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution.” (1) Their intention of the Bill of Rights according to this preamble was essentially to protect the rights of the States but also the rights of the people from the overreach of the Federal Government. While Republicans have repeatedly claimed to be the ones protecting the Bill of Rights and the Constitution, the actions of the new Administration immediately attacked the 1st amendment. While those who support trump will say this is not true, and that The Washington Post is not a dependable source, their article, found here https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/02/26/donald-trump-vows-to-open-up-libel-laws-to-make-suing-the-media-easier-heres-how-he-could-do-it/?utm_term=.f07068986fe6 released an actual video of him making the threat to “open up the libel laws” so that the media can be sued. The first thing Adolph Hitler did in 1933 was very similar. They bought out the newspapers in order to control the media so that the people only heard what the Nazi’s wanted them to hear. (http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/nazi-germany/newspapers-in-nazi-germany/ ) To make such a threat is to slowly start to chip away at the people’s trust in the media so as to eliminate any news that is contrary to what they want you to believe. So if they deny the legitimacy of news organizations long in business and long been considered revered sources and want to control what we are told, why should we trust them? And if they succeed in suppressing the voice of the media, what will they suppress next. This is exactly what the Founding Fathers intended to avoid when including the Bill of Rights. I was raised that when someone tells you something, first ask yourself what the person telling you thinks they have to gain from telling you.
While this is one of the more important aspects of progressive views to me, it’s not my only concern. In viewing the signs carried by protesters at the Atlanta march, I found that many of my concerns are voiced by many others. I have worked in the business end of healthcare for nearly 24 years. Having done so, I have long believed reform was needed. I did support the ACA but recognized that it was not by any means perfect. However, repeal is not the answer. Adjustments are desperately needed in many aspects of the law, some of which were excluded from the law that were actually in the original bill. I saw many of them there when I read much of it for myself and absent from the version that passed which I also read for myself. I’m not saying I have read the law in its entirety, but I have read a generous amount of it. I saw much that we needed that should not be eliminated by anyone claiming to be compassionate. For most of the law was created in order to protect consumers from abusive business practices and its elimination leaves the most vulnerable completely vulnerable to those abuses once again. Copies of the ACA can be found on PDF downloadable https://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/about-the-law/read-the-law/index.html at least for now. More can be found at https://www.congress.gov/bill/111th-congress/house-bill/3590 . I found in my research both before and after the law was passed, that the ideas addressed by the bill and what passed as law had many differences and the original bill was much better in my humble opinion. I found flaws in both the bill and the law however, and know why its opponents didn’t like it. I did not agree with most of what they didn’t like but I could see where they were coming from on some of their reasons for opposition. I just felt that the law was a step in the right direction. As with most laws, once on the books, they can be adjusted to improve their effectiveness and correct problems. That being said, I disagreed with the exclusion of the public option and other aspects of the law, but repeal is not the answer as it reverses the protections provided by the law leaving the most vulnerable citizens unprotected. So that is also among my top reasons for protest. Having worked in the healthcare field as long as I have, I saw people suffer at the abuses of the healthcare business for myself. I processed applications for financial assistance for people who were uninsurable and who exhausted their benefits or lost their jobs because of their illnesses. I saw the abuses first hand. Nothing can erase that from my memory so my mind cannot be changed about the benefits of the ACA. Every argument I’ve been presented with could have been corrected through amendments, not repeal. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE.
Other signs I saw that I agreed with were those on climate change. Those who don’t believe in science are simply willfully ignorant. There is no other excuse. We all took science classes in school no matter what we decided to do in college or even if we didn’t go at all, we at the minimum had science classes throughout our standard grade school education. To buy into the idea that Scientists don’t know what they’re talking about is naïve and foolish. They dedicated their lives to the study of their branch of science and they are the experts. Why would anyone buy a politician’s idea of facts on Climate Change over that of those who studied it their entire career? That makes no sense. The fact is, this is our home. We have nowhere else to go if we destroy our resources. There is this fantasy that we’re going to find another planet to go to should we destroy our own, but that’s just a fantasy. We as a people need to wake up to the reality. That being said, all the 2016 candidates supported the space program. However, Mars has been the planet that has been most talked about as far as an alternative to earth. It’s foolish in my humble opinion to think we could build colonies on Mars as it appears to be a dead planet for the most part. It would take a tremendous amount of development to create anything artificial that could sustain human life. But if Scientists lie about climate change, why would we trust them to create a way to sustain human life on another planet? It’s an idea that contradicts itself when these questions are raised. I choose to believe scientists who know their trade better than the rest of us. They know what they’re talking about. Someone such as donald j trump who has repeatedly denied the reality of climate change is dangerous to our planet with policies that allow big business to abuse our home by poisoning our environment.
There were many other signs I agreed with during the protest. There is a lot of fear out there over this administration. I’ve been told that trump is not who I think he is, but I’ve seen video of his speech that I found deeply disturbing so if I have an impression of him that is incorrect, he created that impression himself. It was NOT created by the media but by his insistence on tweeting and speaking the things he has about this country and his views etc. He doesn’t seem to grasp that threatening the media is a threat to the Bill of Rights. He doesn’t seem concerned that the threats of Kellyanne Conway made about watching what you say about him is a threat to the 1st Amendment. The Bill of Rights is the cornerstone of the Founding Fathers plan for this country put in place to protect the people from the overreach of the Federal government and these kinds of threats are federal government overreach. In these threats if they succeed in carrying out his promises, they eliminate our protections as citizens. As I referenced before, this kind of action is the first step on the road to fascism. For a country so afraid of socialism, I would think they’d be even more frightened by fascism, but it seems those most vocal about how Bernie Sanders was a socialist are the very same people that support trump’s brand of fascism. Perhaps they need to refresh their understanding of forms of government. The new administration is a threat to national security, whether you agree with me or not. I just hope those who don’t, see it before it’s too late.